Naturally Removing Excess Mucus and Phlegm
A Cold or Flu Can Leave You Congested and Gasping for Breath
Wheezing, sneezing, coughing—chest rattling with every breath, tissue box sitting close at hand—these are all signs that you might be suffering from an excess mucus problem.
Whatever the reason is, where mucus is concerned, too much of a good thing is definitely not a good thing. You begin to drown in the very fluids that your body produces to protect you from harm. Fortunately, there are natural treatments to help you cope.
A buildup of excess phlegm may develop because you are suffering from a bad case of the flu, the common cold, or an allergy. It could also be that you are a smoker. Or, perhaps you have recently undergone a major surgery and spent more time in bed than you usually do which has prevented you from working the mucus from your lungs.
Excess Phlegm Can Be a Very Serious Matter
Mucus and phlegm are part of your body's natural defense mechanism. The body creates these fluids as a means to rid itself of germs, bacteria or other small, foreign particles that could otherwise be harmful to it. The particulate is caught up in the mucus and then flows out trapped within the goo into a waiting handkerchief to be easily disposed of.
Although mucus is a natural occurrence, like anything else that can go wrong within our system, when it gets out of control it can become a very bad thing. We find that we are drowning in our own body fluids.
In the event of excess mucus buildup, there are two factors that have to be taken care of and quickly: Your current health situation needs to be brought under control, and it needs to be discovered why things went so drastically wrong. A distinct set of preventative measures can be put in place to stop it from occurring again.
A Simple Lung Exercise May Remove That Mucus Buildup
There is a simple lung exercise which is a powerful tool for removing excess mucus from the lung. It is very easy to learn as it is merely a series of deep breaths followed by a cough.
Sit in a chair or on the side of the bed, breath in slowly as deeply as you can, then release this breath fully. Do four to five deep breaths in this same manner, and on the last inhalation period, rather than just breathing the air out, quickly cough it out.
It is actually very easy to initiate this cough, and it is very effective. The mucus is expelled. Repeat the breathing exercise as needed.
For Fast Relief
Get into the shower and deep breathe the steam. Take slow deep breaths and force yourself to occasionally cough as this will help to expel the mucus.
Steam it Out
Turn the shower on, steam up the bathroom, then get in there. Steam is an old fashioned cold remedy and one that can work quite successfully to help get that mucous out. It is a quick and simple solution for both children and adults. When I am experiencing difficulty breathing I use this method combined with the above lung exercise to ease up the phlegm issues.
A side benefit to steaming is that the warmth of the water also relaxes the muscles. Relieving that tension can also help to alleviate some symptoms.
There Are Ways to Relieve Congestion and Stop the Cough
Many times, the mucus begins in the nasal passages from a sinus infection or reaction to an allergy. Because of the extreme amount of mucus and congestion produced, this fluid drips or is inhaled downward and winds up pooling in the lungs.
The resulting congestion can be very difficult to deal with. Anyone who has suffered from allergies, the flu, or a seasonal cold has probably noticed this pooling of mucus within the lungs. Too much mucus in the lung can cause severe breathing difficulty and increase the risk of infection.
Do you suffer from reoccuring breathing difficulty?
Do you suffer from re-occuring breathing difficulty?
Stop Your Cough With the Natural Antibacterial Properties of Honey
The steam from sipping a hot drink of natural lemon or two tablespoons lemon juice and one teaspoon honey added to hot water will help open clogged passageways and relieve the congestion. The honey will help to soothe the throat area, prevent bacteria from thriving there, and stop a cough.
Studies show that honey is as effective at stopping a cough as is commercial cough syrup. The good news about choosing honey is that honey is natural and has many more health benefits to it than just that of a decongestant. It is also an antibacterial agent so it can help heal your throat and intestinal issues as well.
Deep breathing within a hot shower will also provide immediate relief from both the nasal and lung congestion. Or a chest ointment made from olive oil and your choice of camphor, eucalyptus or peppermint can also help to relieve symptoms of congestion. Singing will also help clear your lungs of mucus and help to increase lung capacity.
Lemon is a diuretic and can help push fluids through faster.
Salt Is a Natural Therapy That Works to Reduce Congestion
Fortunately, there are natural ways to relieve your sinus congestion, slow down the excess mucus and phlegm, aide your breathing difficulty, and help to quickly get you feeling a little healthier.
Salt is a natural antiseptic which can aid in healing. For those who suffer from asthma, salt can be very beneficial in helping to control symptoms. Salt will help to kill germs and bacteria. There are many commercial saline solutions (salt and water) which can be used to clear the nasal and sinus passages to make breathing through clogged nasal passages a little easier.
You can easily create your own saline solution using warm boiled water and salt. You can sniff this solution from your hand, or place it in your nose using a finger wet in the solution; sniff deeply to bring the solution into your sinus cavities.
Use a humidifier or steamer in your home. If you do not have one, then boil a pot of water on the stove to get moisture into the air.
Note: It is very important to always use boiled water to sniff or gargle to prevent further bacteria or other contaminants from entering the body.
A Neti Pot Can Help to Relieve Congestion, or Sniff Boiled Salt Water
Using a Neti pot to help cleanse the sinus passages with a salt water solution will help to relieve sinus congestion and kill the bacteria that reside there.
You can use a Neti pot to help with a cold, flu, or excess mucus or phlegm brought on by allergies. Just be sure to use water that has been boiled and insure that your Neti pot is sterile and clean for each use.
I gargle with warm salt water throughout the day whenever I am feeling exceptionally congested, and then I use a bit of the salt water in my hand to sniff it into my nostrils. Sometimes I will simply apply it with my finger and then sniff to draw it into the nasal cavities.
- Get a flu shot. It really does work.
- Rinse your toothbrush in mouthwash to help stop the return of germs.
Which is your favorite natural mucus relief therapy?
Use Natural Therapies to Help Stop Congestion and Cough
Keep in mind that honey is a natural antibacterial. Salt will kill germs and bacteria. Use these natural therapies to your advantage. You can sip a hot honey drink to get honey's full health benefits and you can simply breathe in the steam from a boiling salt water infusion.
Placing salt and boiling water into a bowl creates a steamy solution. You have only to pop a towel over your head and then lean over it to take advantage of its steamy benefits.
A proper diet always helps to improve a person's immune system and health, so eating responsibly can be a tremendous health aid. In your diet, try to avoid a lot of red meats, dairy products, or grains such as wheat which might trigger an attack of excess mucus secretion.
Vitamins that help to prevent mucus buildup include vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, and cod liver oil, so include them into your supplement program. They are all vitamin or mineral supplements that will help to reduce excess mucus or phlegm from developing.
Massage a mentholated rub onto the bottoms of your feet before you go to bed.
Rest is important for recovery from the flu. Take it easy, but don't allow that mucus to pool.
Your Home Could Be Causing Your Breathing Issues
If you suspect that it is the quality of the air in your home which may be the reason for your breathing difficulties, then dust mite covers for your mattresses and pillows, a humidifier, dehumidifier or an air purifier can be used to help improve the air quality within your home.
Often it is allergens or pollutants that are the root cause of excess phlegm and mucus problems. Your sinuses plug up and then they drain. This occurs on a continuous basis causing an excess mucus and phlegm problem. All this additional mucous generally winds up pooling in the lungs.
Cigarette smoke, plant pollens, household pollutants such as paint, cleaning fluids, cat dander, dust mites, or mold can all contribute. A mucus attack can also begin if you are exposed to excess dust out of doors, or to smoke, and its accompanying particles from a campfire or a neighboring forest fire.
Small wood dust particulate, if you are sanding or standing near someone who is, can also trigger an excess phlegm attack to occur. In an attempt to rid itself of the small particles, your body will produce extra mucus to catch and maintain this material so it can be flushed from the body with the next cough or sneeze. Too much exposure to these small particulates will lead to your body producing excess mucus.
Walk to Help Clear Your Lungs
Walking is one of the best exercises for keeping your lungs strong and clear of mucus. It is also an exercise program that virtually anyone can participate in. You can jog from room to room within your home or get out into the sunshine and go for a quick walk outdoors. Just keep in mind when walking outdoors that you are doing a return trip and don't walk so far out that you can't make the return walk back home in comfort.
A treadmill enables you to continue exercising even when it is too cold to walk outside during those long winter months. They are also nice to have to jump onto throughout the day.
Every few extra steps help, so don't think that five minutes here or there isn't sufficient to make a difference. It all aids in building up your stamina, clearing your lungs of mucus, and making them as well as your heart much stronger. The more fit you are, then the more ability you will have to fight off a lung infection.
Know What Your Triggers Are
The triggers which lead to an excess mucus problem must be removed if the attacks themselves are to be stopped.
Being exposed to small particulate can be very dangerous so I try to avoid this trigger as much as I am able to. I have an illness which weakens my muscles, thereby causing me to have shallow breathing. I often do not breath deeply enough to reach the bottom of my lung. I just do not have the strength to work excess mucus from my lungs once it is there so I drown.
I know what my triggers are and I avoid them as much as I am able to. Discover what yours are and remove, eliminate, or avoid them as much as you are able to. This will stop your body from having to protect itself by producing excess mucus.
Do You Suffer From a Reoccurring Mucus Problem?
Open a Window to Get Fresh Air Into Your Home
Studies show that the indoor pollutants within your home are probably around five times higher than the pollutants floating around in the air outdoors.
Keep a window in your home open at least one inch in both the summer and winter. If you are not able to do this then try to open a window for at least fifteen minutes each day to allow for an exchange of fresh air into your home.
Laughter Can Help Clear Your Lungs of Congestion
A good laugh will not only help to clear the mucus from your lungs, but it will also release endorphins, and these will help to make you feel better. Endorphins are the body's natural painkiller, and they are released when you exercise, smile, laugh, or participate in any other pleasurable activities.
So, find any reason that you can to laugh and have a really great chuckle, it's good for you.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2008 Lorelei Cohen